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Mboweni surprised by opposition rejection of Division of Revenue Amendment Bill

The DA, EFF, FF+ and the ACDP all voted against it, but the Bill passed by 214 votes to 119 with no abstentions.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivering his Supplementary Budget on 24 June 2020. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said that every cent of money earmarked for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic must do what it was intended to do.

He told Parliament that a zero-based budgeting system would allow the government to prioritise expenditure items that boosted economic growth.

Zero-based budgeting means that each line item has to be justified, starting from a clean slate as opposed to simply increasing an entity’s previous budget.

Mboweni was replying to debate on the Division of Revenue Amendment Bill during a hybrid sitting of the National Assembly on Wednesday.

Tito Mboweni was taken aback by opposition parties’ rejection of the Division of Revenue Amendment Bill.

"At this hour, at this hour of need, I would have thought that all of us would rally behind this Bill, [and] support it for the benefit of our people [at a very difficult time]."

The DA, EFF, FF+ and the ACDP all voted against it, but the Bill passed by 214 votes to 119 with no abstentions.

"We have to ensure that every cent reaches the purposes for which it was budgeted. We have to ensure that the thieves and the wolves at the door are kept away. We have to ensure that our people indeed benefit from whatever little that we have.

"As we say in Sepedi, the children in the house share the head of a locust, and that is what we must seek to do – share the head of the locust, no matter how small it is.”

The Bill is a crucial piece of Budget legislation, which decides the share of income from taxes between national, provincial and local government.

It will come before the National Council of Provinces for approval on Wednesday.

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